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Tag Archives: preserved without embalming

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai is a daily haiku meme


monks amazing faith
miracle of 30 years 
buried unmarked grave
buried unmarked grave
miracle continued on
believe it or not
believe it or not
faith preserved the humble monk
mindfully body saved

The story behind the post from

Carpe Diem #379, Ulan-Ude

Until 1991 Ulan-Ude was closed to foreigners.There are old merchants’ mansions richly decorated with wood and stone carving in the historical center of Ulan-Ude, along the river banks which are exceptional examples of Russian classicism. The city has a large ethnographic museum which recalls the history of the peoples of the region.

Here, by the way,  we ran into a first sign of Buddhism, the goal of this journey, around 25 km outside of Ulan -Ude, lays the Ivolginsky Datsan a Buddhist Temple.To this Temple belongs a story about, the 12th Pandito Hambo Lama of the Ivolginsky Datsan, Dashi-Dorzho Itigelov. He told his students and fellow monks to bury his body after his death and to check on it again in 30 years. According to the story, Itigelov then sat in the lotus position, began chanting the prayer of death, and died, mid-meditation. The monks followed Itigilov’s directions, but when they exhumed his body 30 years later, they were amazed to find none of the usual signs of decay and decomposition. On the contrary, Itigilov looked as if he had been dead only a few hours, rather than three decades. Fearful of the Soviet response to their “miracle”, the monks reburied Itigilov’s body in an unmarked grave.
Itigelov’s story was not forgotten over the years and on September 11, 2002 the body was finally exhumed and transferred to Ivolginsky Datsan where it was closely examined by monks and by scientists and pathologists. The official statement was issued about the body – very well preserved, without any signs of decay, whole muscles and inner tissue, soft joints and skin. The interesting thing is that the body was never embalmed or mummified 1991 attached to the datsan.